To Wash or Not Wash Your Fabric, that is the ?

I always recommend pre-washing fabric. There are several problems with not washing fabric…

[links provided for those interested]

For those sewing for a customer base… I do not recommend pre-washing fabric unless other wise stated on the hang tag.

Most textiles shrink between 2-3% though I have used Monks Cloth (100% cotton for Huck weaving) and found 1 yard shrank 25%!

Sizing is used in fabric to give it that nice crisp look, it will wash out but can be put back into the fabric at the ironing/pressing stage.

And for those wanting the technical stuff… sizing information

More then the two mentioned above, there is dyes in the fabric! some are Alkaline or acid dyed and do you really want that next to your or your child’s skin? which fabrics? that depends on the fabric, the colors, manufactures. This is just one company providing chemicals to dye fabric to the textile industries.

fabric dye chemicals

Most of our fabric is manufactured in over seas (as with the manufacturing of clothing) and is also coated in
Formaldehyde! talk about not wanting to wear fabric treated with this stuff! it off-gases and causes serious health problems.

Formaldehyde is used to keep the textiles from molding in the ocean air as it is being shipped from China and other countries to America.

Information on Formaldehyde In Textiles

Of course it is a choice to wash or not to wash, I wash and if the fabric says Dry Clean only, as with a previous poster… mine too goes right to the cleaners.

Professionals do not launder their fabric .. professionals don’t have the time or money to wash fabric before manufacturing a garment. I wouldn’t wash either!!! but for my family… putting that sweet little outfit I just made for my babies or grand babies, it is going to be washed!!!

Often times I wash several times to remove the dyes. I prefer to wash most of my fabric in my stainless steel stock pots using water I boiled first. I am able to get most of my fabric in a pot and usually that is a 10 yard piece… I have large stock pots. If I notice the dye has turned the water.. I will empty the pot into the sink and then use hot tap water, repeating the process until the water is almost clear! I don’t want any bleeding of dyes in my washer with other clothing. I do wash my fabric in the washer using laundry soap (which I make), and then into a hot dryer.


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